Family: Faulty airbag left our grandmother paralyzed

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A lawsuit filed by a Jacksonville family against Honda and Takata Airbags alleges a faulty airbag caused their grandmother to be paralyzed.

The family says the airbags in the Honda Civic deployed after the grandmother, Patricia Mince, 76, t-boned another car at the corner of Collins Rd. and Rampart Rd. in 2014.

The lawsuit calls the accident a minor crash, but in a statement to First Coast News, Honda says the accident was high energy and says their inspection of the airbags shows no defect.

"Whenever I first found out her condition, I just didn't believe it because she's someone I'd just spent so much time with," said Mince's granddaughter Paige Hay.

Nationally, more than two million vehicles may have a defect that could cause the airbag to deploy inadvertently.

"Something that is supposed to protect her has made her motionless now," Hay said. "She can't move anymore or have a conversation with me. It's something that was supposed to save her just destroyed her whole life."

The lawsuit filed against Honda and Takata airbags says the airbags deployed late and with too much force.

The family says the accident that caused the airbags to deploy happened when Mince t-boned another car. They say she wasn't going more than 20 miles per hour and her injuries should have been less severe.

"All the pain she's gone though, the spasms, the infections, the fevers. That will never go away the rest of her life," said Kelly Sims, Mince's daughter.

Mince's Honda Civic was included in a 2009 recall for faulty airbags. Sims says the family had the airbag replaced as a result.

But four days after the crash, Sims says there was a new notice the airbags needed to be replaced again.

"You just can't conceive it. You just can't believe it," Sims said. "You're just like really?"

In a statement to First Coast News, Honda says it "has uncovered no facts or substantiating evidence in the police investigation to support the defect allegations made."

"I would really like for no other family to go through what we've been though," Sims said. "It just affects every aspect of your life. And my mom, her life will never be the same. It has just taken everything from her."

The family would not disclose tonight how much money they are seeking in the lawsuit.

Patricia Mince is recovering in a hospital in Tampa that could meet her medical needs. The family is working with hospitals to bring her back to Jacksonville. So far, no area hospital has agreed to accept her.

MORE: Owners may not always know their recalled vehicle still needs to be repaired. NHTSA's new search tool lets you enter a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to quickly learn if a specific vehicle has not been repaired as part of a safety recall in the last 15 years. Click Link Here


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